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Anyone ever felt like just replacing all of their gear? [vent-ish]

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sgroh87, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I have two five-string basses and a six-string bass, and I just don't feel happy with any of them. The low B strings on all of them are tubby, unclear, and not very musical. The high C string on my sixer is thin-sounding and blah. The sixer has other problems, too: the frets, despite having the edges dressed, are still sharp and grab into my hand (and the frets are steel, so the local luthiers want to charge extra to work on them), and the pickups/electronic system is also uninspiring. It's also heavy! My amp is light, portable, and powerful; but the sound is also kind of bland.

    I mostly play jazz, funk, and classic rock, so maybe the more modern sounds just aren't hitting the right spots. I kind of want to sell all my gear and get a jazz bass with rounds, a P bass with flats, and maybe a Stingray. Go back to the traditional instruments that I know work.

    Have any of you ever felt this way? How did you handle it? Did you go through with it? How did that work out for you?
  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    The way I discovered what worked for me is what worked in rehearsal and at gigs. What instruments sounded good consistently, were easily playable, and worked in any room.

    Your rig also matters.

    You gotta like the tones the bass makes when playing with other musicians and how much joy you get from that experience.
  3. OptimalOptimus


    Jan 4, 2019
    I kinda feel the same but not all my rig. I guess I'll never be trully happy.
  4. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I've never done a liquidation of the entire herd at once – what I have now has evolved over about two decades. I don't think I could start completely from scratch, either, because finding the right J, P and a Stingray would be a lengthy process for me. Plus, I gig regularly, so at a minimum, I always need at least a primary bass and a backup.

    BTW, it's not unusual for luthiers to charge more for working on stainless steel frets due to the separate tools required, but that sounds like the least of your worries. Do you really need a six for your repertoire? Maybe let that one go first as part of your exploratory, and hold the fives for now. Good luck.
  5. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Bassman369, BOOG, Kevnn4 and 3 others like this.
  6. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Banned SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Being that I currently own 74 basses I’d have to say no to that question.

    However there are at least a handful that I definitely need to work on.
    TonyP- and jamro217 like this.
  7. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I've liked everything I've bought, when I bought it, so if I was at a point when I felt that everything was "bad", I would know the problem was in me.

    If you upgrade the weakest link in your signal chain, the next weakest link may appear. I've never been unhappy with more than one thing at a time. Fix that thing and all is usually good.
    Undead Goat and jamro217 like this.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I did once, (my bass gear, anyway, except for accessory items). I sold my 1972 Jazz Bass, WW amp and Sonic 1-15 cabinet in the mid '80s, and just kept my acoustic guitar, for about a year, or so. I wasn't doing anything with music in those days, just photography, art-wise. A year later (summer 1987) I bought my first 5 string bass, a then brand new Yamaha BX-5, and a Gallien-Krueger 200MB combo amp. I still wasn't doing any music with anyone so I just spent time perfecting my playing :D.
  9. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I’ve thought recently of unloading about 80% of it. But replacing it? No. I’m usually pretty happy with whatever I’m currently playing. Why own it if I didn’t?
    MCF likes this.
  10. Trouztrouz


    Feb 6, 2013
    My secret to being happy with all of my bases is that I am always the weakest link. :thumbsup:
  11. jthisdell

    jthisdell Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    Most important parts of the signal chain are strings and cab IMHO, start there.
    lizardking837 and jamro217 like this.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    No matter what, you can always find an issue. I played one bass for 20 years, a Fender jazz with a P neck. Then I decided I should get something "better", which I did (a Lull P4) Fifteen years after that, I play both of those basses equally, and would be content with either one as my sole bass.

    Your bass is just a tool. Unless they are poorly made instruments (which doesn't appear to be the case from your description), they are not what is holding your playing back.
    jamro217 and S-Bigbottom like this.
  13. Polk Salad

    Polk Salad Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2007
    hennessybass, Ewo and juancaminos like this.
  14. BlueShox

    BlueShox Registered Turtle

    Jul 14, 2007
    West Columbia, SC
    Change your amp first, you may like the basses better once you have an amp that inspires you. If you still aren't there dump your 6 string for a 4 string J, if you love it cut the others for other traditional styles.
  15. I'm almost sure that silver/nickel frets contain some iron, which would make them steel.
    Our local luthier won't even entertain installing stainless steel frets, which I find disappointing.

    I cleaned out ALL my gear a couple of years ago & started fresh about 4 months later. I am much more satisfied with my current gear, because from all of the experience of buying & using stuff over the years, I knew exactly what I was looking for.
    My new requirement was that it had to WOW! me. No wow= no buy.
    31HZ, jamro217, LowRick and 3 others like this.
  16. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    USA, Phoenix, AZ
    Yes I want to replace all of my amps and PA with newer and lighter stuff. But I am cheap, it took me 50 years to acquire all of this stuff and resale isn't much plus I don't like dealing with the hassle of selling stuff. Bass guitar wise I want to off load everything except a two or three basses. Again don't like the ordeal of posting, meeting, arguing(bargaining), etc. So cheap and lazy is my excuse.
    btmpancake, DrMole, Cheez and 2 others like this.
  17. Astronaut


    Jul 21, 2013
    I get what your feeling, but if I was to reset the gear completely,I would start with just one (better than your actual) bass instead of aiming for three different ones. First budget wise and second quality wise. Find something you know your going to love to play and that is reliable. Something special.
  18. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    But, which one is your soul bass? :roflmao:
    jamro217 likes this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Goes back and forth. But gun to my head, probably the Fender. Maybe it's over 11 pounds, but it plays and sounds wonderful. Never mind I've been playing it for over a third of a century. The only thing I've had longer is Gibson acoustic. Which pre-dates puberty...
    jamro217 and S-Bigbottom like this.
  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    ...until they hit their thumb.

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